All conventions follow a similar pattern and this year's FX International show in Orlando was no exception. In the end, these are primarily bazaars for the bizarre, places for the obsessed to feed their obsessions.
If any of this sounds pejorative or condescending, let me assure you, I am referring to myself as among the crazed.
Anyway, the pattern goes like this: Day One -- Usually a weekday, so attendance is a bit lower. Lots of people who are working the show check out the other people working the show and eyeball the wares. Those who deal in Pop Cultural marginalia usually do so because they too are among the obsessed, rather than for the profit margin. Think about it: when you consulted with your high school guidance counsellor, did he or she recommend a career flogging 25-year-old action figures? I'm betting not.
Day Two -- Most often a Saturday. Attendance is high so dealers stay at home in their booths. Sales are brisk, but there are still a few gawkers (those who plan to be back on Day Three) snooping around, trying to find the best price on whatever doodad catches their collective eye. Many events scheduled so the sales floor sees fits and starts of activity. Not too much haggling at this stage.
Day Three -- It's Sunday and this is the end. Merchants who optimistically loaded up their booths with merchandise now are terribly eager to unload, lest they face the prospect of schlepping the whole she-bang back to the van and driving it back to the store. Or the parents' basement. Or wherever. Deals are plentiful. "I'll give you $20.00 for that $35.00 whozie-whatsis." That kind of thing.
And so ends FX International 2008.
Now it's on to Megacon, starting 7 Mar 2008. I wonder how it will play out.
Addendum: I want to thank all the great people I worked with at the talesofwonder.com booth this weekend; every last one of them a joy. There was Will who did the heavy lifting at set-up. And Clay who wanted an extra free Indiana Jones 4 poster, so he got mine. There was Desiree who had so much enthusiasm that it rubbed off on unenthusiastic me. And John (the other one) who greeted customers better than I ever could. And his son James, who along with Robert and Andy, got stuck hauling statues out to cars. There was the previously mentioned in this blog Tabitha, my birthday buddy. And there was Brett, who held it all together. And to the ones whose names I haven't listed, your kindness and good company have not been forgotten. Thank you all.